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Auto Parts and Repairs
Brake Pads and Rotors
Ford Escort
Ford Escort LX

How do can remove the rotors on a 94 Ford Escort?

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2011-09-12 21:16:08
2011-09-12 21:16:08

I have the '94 Escort and it's actually a very simple vehicle to work on by comparison with most of the later model vehicles. The question is so simple I assume that there is some complication that you're running into, but have not been able to express this in your title. You can purchase a Haynes manual and it will detail what needs to be done.

Front Rotors:1) Loosen the lug-nuts on both front wheels only.2) Lift the front of the vehicle vehicle.3) Remove the front lug nuts and the front wheels.4) Remove the front disc-brake calipers, which are held on by only two 10mm bolts. 5) You will now be able to remove the front rotors.

(as a tip, if your brakes pulse all the time and machining the rotors provides only a temporary solution, then your calipers are locked and cannot slide laterally (in & out). Re-bore out the holes that the caliper slides laterally on and reapply *high-quality* bearing grease. This allows calipers to slide laterally as they were originally doing and prevents rapid uneven wear and warpage on the rotors.Do not buy extended wear pads... they only generate more damaging heat and warp plus wear-out your rotors faster. I speak from experience. Purchase only the standarad pads.)

It now occurs to me that you are actually referring to the rear rotors as they are far more problematic to remove. (Drum brakes)

Your local autoparts store will know about all the replacement parts that you will need in servicing rear brakes. They come in kits. Make sure you get QUALITY. As an Escort owner, replacement parts (not obtained from Ford dealership) are notoriously of CHEAP Quality!!! Nothing like having to redo a job TWICE or only 20k later.

Always use wheel chocks and also use the transmission to help keep vehicle in place. (Park for Automatic or 1st gear for manual-shift) Always use two jack-stands and place them on the frame at the rear of the vehicle.

Follow steps 1-3 above, except for the rear wheels only. Take only one side apart at a time. Have alternate transportation pre-arranged as you WILL need to make a visit to the hardware store. Use a hammer and whack the outter edges of the drum a few times in various spots to help unseat it and remove some build-up. Try to rotate the drum by hand... if you can't then the brakes are well-seated against the drum and this will make it far more difficult to remove. (also pay attention & make sure there's no uneven grabbing as it rotates) Make sure the emergency brake has been released.

Note the two *empty* screw-holes on either side of the hub on the drum itself. It may be filled with a bunch of debris, rust and corrossion... but if you insert properly threaded (and lubed) machine screws (visit hardware store and pick several types), you will be able to use these holes to help force the drum away from hub. You may need to pre-condition the holes, removing all that debris, build-up and corrosion, then lube it and the screws. Rethreading should not be necessary unless you force the wrong hardened screw into it... so BE CAREFUL and screw by hand until you're 101% sure that you have the proper screw!

Once removed, you'll want to check to make sure that your rear drum rotors are in good condition. They may need machining... resurfacing likely not. My '94 was manufactured in October of that year and I must say the original parts are of impeccable quality. (180,000 miles) Check to make sure that the cylinder's boot doesn't have any tears or leaks. Make sure you don't damage it while performing your maintenance.

Should be self-explantory from here. You'll need to remove the spring for the emergency brake lever & unhook it in the rear before disassembling inside the rotor. Getting those brake-shoe springs back on can be tricky though. What I did was to pre attach the bottom (or top... whichever was most difficult to install) spring to both shoes first and then inserted the shoes into the backplate. Using snub-nose plyers I then attached the rest of the springs.

One thing to note, one of my auto-adjusters for the emergency brake had seized. ((The emergency brake no-longer holding the vehicle on a hill is what caused me to service the rear to start with. Turns-out, only one side was even working.)) Anyway, no one carried replacements for the adjuster and I didn't want to wait several days until Tuesday (Monday holiday) when the dealership opened. So I had to recondition it. I spent almost an hour alone in getting the two parts of the adjuster to separate without damaging or destroying it. I ground down the pin, removing build-up and reducing it's diameter and reconditioned the hole before greasing and reassembling the adjuster. I had to refashion my own cotter-pin as the original had to be destroyed to get them apart. I think I even had to redrill an alternate hole for my refashioned cotter-pin.

You'll of course want to degrease everything and use high quality grease on all contact points. A smooth even coat is all that is needed. Too much excess can get into the brake lining as the rotational movement of the drums can rapidly force air to the outside of the lining... and any excess grease with it. I also removed any build-up, making the surfaces shiny again with a drill-attachement sander.

EDIT: MAKE SURE THOSE SCREWS YOU BUY ARE *HARDENED* SCREWS... normal screws will tear-apart and if the head breaks-off while in the drum... you're screwed... literally.

EDIT: Use Bolt-heads and avoid Phillips or flathead screws. This eliminates the possibility of stripping... but make sure those bolts are of flawless, hardened quality as you don't want them breaking-off in the drum.

-Unknown User

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